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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Columbia-Wrightsville Veteran's Memorial Bridge (Nancy Martin)
The Columbia-Wrightsville Veteran's Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River
Photo by Nancy Martin
Click on photo to enlarge

"Living As Children Of Light"

Message summary: In our present day when crusaders of darkness are applauded or upheld as "courageous" role models, let us hear the resounding call God has placed upon us to "live as children of light!"

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“They grope in darkness with no light” (Job 12:25). “But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness” (Proverbs 4:19). “So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11). "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

"We Will Not be Silenced"Our Sunday School Class is studying an extremely timely book by Pastor Erwin Lutzer titled "We Will Not be Silenced".  The subtitle is "Responding Courageously to our Culture's Assault on Christianity".

Those of us who faithfully follow Christ are deeply distressed by the direction in which Lutzer sees our country* heading and it is accelerating day by day. Over the past week I received at least two evidences of our culture's assault on Christianity.

I read an article about a Christian School in Florida under vicious attack for merely holding on to Biblical standards of morality (see description below). These attacks remind me of those residents of Sodom seeking to break down the doors to Lot's house (Genesis 19).

Then I received a letter from Dayspring, a local Christian school in Lancaster County which is now banned, along with many other faithful ministries from participating in Extragive, a local community fundraiser because they refuse to abandon their convictions regarding sexual morality (again see below).

These are just a couple of examples of the flood of evil sweeping our land seeking to silence the faithful witness of those who refuse to bow the knee to the Baals of our age.

A key component for all who faithfully follow Christ in this present time is living as children of the light!

It’s interesting that one of the many distorted pictures Satan presents as “having a good time” is going into places of darkness. Proverbs 4:19 states,
“But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness”. Perhaps you can easily conjure up such a place in your mind. For me a casino, bar, brothel, "adult" bookstore and other such places represent places of "deep darkness". But there are many more. What a deceitful lie many have come to believe! In reality an ancient word from Job is so pertinent, "They grope in darkness with no light".

Christians are often portrayed as a disgruntled, judgmental type of people who really don’t know how to enjoy life. I contrast that portrayal with my personal experience as a follower of Christ for over 50 years. For me the experience has been far more positive than negative, although there certainly has been hard times. Being in a joy-filled church service, gathering with Christ followers around our big dining room table for a home Bible Study, enjoying activities with men on a campout (Stephen) or sharing with women at a ladies fellowship (Brooksyne). A fruitful happy marriage and the blessing of family and friends are among the many joys of living in the light. Above all the joy of knowing Christ.

The tremendous prayer support and encouragement from the body of Christ extended to me in times of need leads me to say along with so many others in times of crises: “What would I do without the body of Christ?” My brothers and sisters who uphold me in prayer and encourage me with their words and actions. I’ll take that kind of life over the dark, often dangerous, and godless places that those who walk in darkness are drawn to!

The radiant light of God’s Holy Word exposes and dispels darkness. When God’s servants live as children of light, darkness is dissipated.

All of us, in one way or another, are impacted by darkness. By God’s grace and through His might, as believers we want our light to shine brightly to expose and then dispel the darkness! We cannot dabble in darkness and still live in the light. God has not called us to blend in but rather we are to stand out as those whose lives are filled “with goodness, righteousness and truth”. When we try to blend in we are putting ourselves at danger since one force will eventually overtake the other.

We were once darkness but are now light in the Lord and thus we are to live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord. We must have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. In our present day when crusaders of darkness are applauded or upheld as "courageous" role models, let us hear the resounding call God has placed upon us to "live as children of light!"

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out!I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You are the Light of the world. And because You reside in our hearts we are a reflection of Your holy light. The world we live in is dark and growing even darker as Satan’s sinister and deceitful schemes are being played out. Help us not to dismiss or disregard the darkness that is spreading lest the darkness overtake us as well. Instead we ask You to empower us through the light of Your Holy Spirit to shine in a wicked and decadent society. We come against the darkness by speaking against wickedness in all forms. And, Lord, help us to be consistent not only in what we speak but the manner in which we live, for our actions often speak louder than our words. May the “fruit of the light consisting in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” be evident in all we do since we have “put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Fortify and encourage those individuals and groups targeted by the world's anti-biblical stance on moral issues of our day as they stand strong in the power of the Lord, for it is in Your name, Jesus, that we pray. Amen.

Tomorrow and Friday we will examine two perils of spiritual darkness, spiritual troglomorphism and spiritual nyctophilia.

* The assaults of Christianity are certainly not limited to the country we live in but are happening worldwide, some in far, far greater ways.

Here's the report about the Christian School in Florida:

As many schools do at the beginning of the school year, Grace Christian School sent out a reminder to all parents about the school’s standards of conduct. Included in that notice was a statement that sexual activity outside of marriage was not permitted by the school.
The school also prohibits the growing transgender ideology that insists we all lie about a person’s gender if they decide they are something other than their biological sex. In other words, there are no “preferred pronouns” in this school! Boys are addressed as “he/him” and girls are addressed as “she/her.”
This is not a new policy for Grace Christian School and it is exactly what you would expect at any Christian school.  But the school is now facing a barrage of hate for reiterating these commonsense, biblical principles. 
Barry McKeen, an administrator at Grace Christian School commented:
“It’s funny for us to. . . be painted as hateful. We have fielded . . . probably thousands of phone calls . . . with just some of the most outrageous things: People threatening to burn my house down, threatening to kill my family. . .
“Maybe God has picked us for this particular time to just encourage [like-minded people] that, ‘Hey, there are things worth standing up for, and we’re going to do that.’”

Here's the pertinent paragraphs from the letter I received from Dayspring Christian Academy here in Lancaster County that relates to "Extra Give":

Recent changes with Extra Give have raised deep concerns about the direction of the Community Foundation. The Foundation is increasingly telegraphing that organizations that do not share its progressive social agenda will not be welcome to participate in Extra Give in the years to come and will also raise the cost of participation for many that do.

Beginning this year, the Foundation is requiring participating organizations to submit non-discrimination policies for public disclosure. The Foundation is making it clear that advancement of sexual orientation and gender identity issues are now a priority, and as a result are placing a spotlight on organizations that cannot in good conscience advance that agenda.

Dayspring Christian Academy has made the decision to leave Extra Give knowing that our future is limited based on the Foundation's social agenda. (The very core of Dayspring's mission is bringing restoration to our nation's biblical foundation. In the recent years, at many of our Remember America Speaker Series events, we have called on our fellow Christians to have courage and stand for what is right. To continue to yolk ourselves to an organization which is pushing such an anti-Biblical and harmful agenda is not something we can or will do.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"This Little Light Of Mine"  Video  Jason Crabb or this one by Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives

Today's lead photo was taken by our friend Nancy Martin who wrote, "Galen and I celebrated 49 years of marriage with dinner at the John Wright Restaurant.  We had a beautiful evening and I took this picture afterwards. The sun was just right and the water calm." It is indeed a beautiful photo!

Brooksyne by tall corn
Before we headed out early yesterday morning I took a photo of Brooksyne across the road from our house standing next to the cornfield. Since we can't extend a measuring tape to the top of the corn we are guessing by Brooksyne's height of 5'4" that the corn is double that (tassel included) making the corn nearly 10' high. The rains have contributed to healthy fields of corn in our neighborhood. As we have traveled throughout the state, and hear from friends back home and elsewhere, many communities are praying for rain to saturate their dry fields and yards. Lord, send forth rain, we pray!

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Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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